Feeling the Effects
In fall of 2009, Restoring Eden brought Rev. Tafue Lusama of Tuvalu and Sara Kaweesa of Uganda to the United States to alert Christians here of the damage that climate change is causing to their homelands, and to call for our help as brothers and sisters in Christ.
This small island in the South Pacific near Fiji is already experiencing the effects of climate change. The highest point of the island being a mere 3 meters above sea level, any rise in ocean levels causes disastrous harm to the people and land living there. The island has already started to “sink” as the water levels creep higher, and is facing total inundation, meaning the people of Tuvalu will be forced to relocate and leave behind the ruins of the land they once called home. Scientists have said that a 40% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels by the year 2020 is necessary to save the nation of Tuvalu from sinking.
A nation highly and directly dependent on the land, Uganda has begun to experience extreme drought in recent years due to climate change. Most people depend on what is growing in their yard for sustenance, so when growing seasons become unpredictable and water is lacking, their livelihoods are frighteningly jeopardized. And when they cannot feed themselves or their family, the price paid for the effects of climate change is gravely high. Sara tells us that she has seen people commit suicide because they could not bear to watch their children die of starvation.
Responsibility lies with the developed nations who are spewing out greenhouse gases with no discretion or regulation. Sara commented during her presentation, “Forgive me, but Africa bears the brunt, but has not been the source.” She recognizes that there are many differences in theologies in the Church that make it difficult for us to unite over the issue of climate change, but that is why we must unite over our foundation of Christ.
Consistent with our commitment to the speaking out for endangered wildlife, natural habitats, and threatened cultures, we at Restoring Eden believe that global climate change is something that must be addressed quickly. The facts are conclusive – humankind’s burning of fossil fuels has been a key contributor to climate change in the past 150 years. We believe that urgent action must be taken to cut our meddling in God’s providential systems. The time to act is now.
In the agrarian times of the Bible, the Israelites understood rain and favorable weather to be signs of God’s providence. After all, without a steadily favorable climate, there would be no food. It’s no wonder so many pagan cults worshiped the weather as a god! Yet the Lord isn’t the weather, but its sovereign Creator.
But today, industrial civilization is threatening to upset this delicate meteorological administration of God’s providence. Humanity’s reckless burning of fossil fuels is already changing the patterns of the heavens, and so also the fruitfulness of the rest of creation below.